Know Thyself, Transform Your Life

In the months leading up to my arrival in Austin and for several months following I was without focus or purpose. The best way I can describe myself is like one of those intelligent and high energy breeds of dog that everyone knows must have a job to do or they will destroy everything important in your life. My personal brand of passion, enthusiasm and complete disregard for personal or professional boundaries left unbridled put extreme pressure on everyone in my life.

For nearly 50 years I’ve been a consummate observer of human nature including my own. Because of my own former struggles with weight and body image, it was natural for me to look at that demographic first when trying to find answers to the struggles I saw being played out daily in those I met. I simply refused to accept the standard off the cuff answers of no motivation and lack of willpower.

After the idea worm of a wellness book was implanted and burrowing about in my head I expanded my thinking to review my observations and experiences as well as all the personal traits that make me special and have gotten me to this place in life. Soon thereafter I developed a theory. Once established I’ve thought of little else and thus “Honestly Speaking” was born.

It is with zero doubt or reservation I say this has been all at once the most enjoyable, terrifying, and satisfying experience a person could possibly ask to get from a creative endeavor. I have put words to paper thousands of times in my life, but never have I been so totally in love with and passionate about a project and the potential impact it might have on my readers. However, the very nature of the content had me constantly looking inward at myself and reviewing both pleasant and not so pleasant memories. I must ask up front that you take the entire work as a whole and forgive any parts that might be perceived as too personal and/or self-serving. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve so to speak and hold tight to the belief that we are unable to truly see our own situations objectively. While I don’t live or die by other’s opinion, if no one found my efforts helpful, any personal pleasure I derived from it would be at least partially diminished.

My writing career spans approximately 25 years beginning as a United States Marine working in the Public Affairs Office at Parris Island, SC, as the Northern Bureau Chief in Okinawa, Japan and as a combat correspondent during Desert Storm. But it was the five decades of overcoming such adversities as mental and physical abuse, gaining and later maintaining 160+ pound weight loss and 16 years battling medications from a faulty diagnosis that prompted me to use my education as a personal trainer and life coach to change the lives of others like me. I always knew deep down inside I had the strength to rise above any challenge. But far more important than my personal transformation is what it has taught me about guiding others in doing the same.

My closest friends have observed me all over the map physically and mentally. And they know it was experiencing and overcoming those struggles that have made me so passionate about helping others. Every aspect of my business takes into consideration the potential impact it might have on my readers, listeners and clients. Therefore it is my sincerest hope that whether it is through my writing, my podcast or through personal interaction, you find something that resonates in your own life or in a manner which allows you to view others in a kinder light.

The word most used by others to describe me is passionate. And while that is assuredly true, the trait most important to me is honest. I am honest with myself and I will be honest with you. Daily I re-evaluate my speech and actions to make sure they are congruent. I figure I am far from perfect so honesty is the best defense.

With that in mind, I say to you that the process of change is not easy. It requires facing personal demons that terrify us. But I can promise you two things: nothing you will uncover is more painful than living the rest of your life wondering if you’ve fulfilled your personal destiny and that once you have successfully slain those dragons the rest of the journey gets so much easier.